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How do you manage getting stuff done?

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#1 WaitForMe

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:09 AM

We talk sometimes about the mental load of parents, mums in particular, that list of never ending things that need doing and remembering.

I am just the worst at actually working through that list. For instance, our cooktop has been faulty for a few months but I just can't for the life of me remember to ring someone up about it during work hours. I just get completely consumed by my job. I only remember when I go to use it, by which time its out of hours.

Then theres DH. He doesn't know whats on the list, he has no list. I need to take at least some ownership of that because I haven't tried to include him but I really need to I can't do it all on my own. He will do things like clear out weeds down the side of the house meanwhile I'm thinking yeah thanks but that was hardly the highest priority thing that needed doing, or even the highest priority weeds that needed pulling.

Do you write your list down and discuss what should be done next? Have you found a way to share the load? Is there a tool you use?

#2 Jersey Caramel

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:14 AM

On remembering to ring/organise things, I put a remimder in my phone calendar so it pops up at a time I can actually do something about it (i.e. lunch break at work). I do the same for bills. We have a shared calendar so if I want DH to do something I put it in the joint calendar and if I am looking after it myself I put it in my own.

Not perfect,  and we have pretty much come to the compromise that because I take on wayyyyy more mental load, if I ask DH to do something he will do it, promptly and without accusing me of nagging, and it is fair that he does more of the physical work because I have done more of the mental work.

#3 born.a.girl

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:16 AM

This is a do what I say, rather than do what I do, because I'm not great.

Part of my problem is that until recently, I had my own business for nearly 30 years, and spent about a third of my day in the office at home, which could sometimes blur the lines.

I have a pad, though, that simply lists the things you need to do, in number order, then give them a priority, A B or C.

Sometimes I'd just tell myself, you're doing doing one more thing, until you pick up the phone, or send the email regarding this thing you've been putting off.

Can you put a reminder on your phone so that it goes off from the moment you get to work?  Depending on your workplace of course, even if you have to get there a bit earlier to do it.

Once you've done one, it's sometimes a lot easier to get the other things done.

#4 luke's mummu

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:19 AM

List, reminders on phone. When kids were younger, DH and I used to take one day off work a term together ( while kids were at preschool) to tackle major jobs around the house IE big garden cleanup, carpet steam cleaning

#5 can'tstayaway

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:22 AM

We are an iPhone family so have shared calendars and reminder lists.

For household to do lists, I put them in the reminder list and whoever can, does it and ticks it off. Sometimes I will put it in the ‘DH list’ so he knows that’s delegated to him. Yes, we do talk about it, but who so much going on in life, stuff gets forgotten. I can easily reorganise the list by holding down and dragging so it’s generally in priority order.

I rely on my phone calendar and alarms. I do get a little concerned that I’m not using my brain enough but then I reason my forgetfulness is because my brain is doing so much already.

#6 **Xena**

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:22 AM

I write lists. I love writing lists. I have so many of them. They don't always work but I get great joy in creating them :lol:

#7 BRB

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:22 AM

I keep reminders in my phone and have a “house list” on the fridge. When DH has days off (shift worker) he  attempts to work through the list, whatever is left I do what I can when I can.
It’s never ending

#8 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:23 AM

I came across something recently that I like - have 3 achievable things on your current to do list only. So yes, I now have two lists - the big never ending list, plus three things I want to do that day. I choose the things based on what’s most likely to get done in the near future. And for you, absolutely take three things off your list and give them to your DH. The cooktop would be a good start.

#9 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:01 AM

I personally have a system that works for me,  a calendar with absolutely everything in it - down to the level of descale the kettle, check oil in the car, flu shots, change toothbrushes, kids haircut etc.
I have all my bills, school stuff, birthdays etc in there too.

The other thing I have is a main to do list which is in an app on my phone. I try to get a couple of big things a week ticked off and a small thing every day.  So a big thing might be arrange the cooktop and a small thing might be do the weeding.  As I think of things I put them in the list with the highest priority at the top.

If a task seems to daunting like the cooktop I break it down into steps - eg choose new cooktop, search for a good plumber, work out how to dispose of old cooktop, buy cooktop, arrange install.
That makes it easier to get the big jobs done. Its how I approach big tasks at work too.

Meals I roughly plan 2-3 days in advance. I probably hit the shops twice a week so I make sure I have the items I need for those recipes handy.

Mind you, Im currently on mat. leave. Once I return to work with 3 kids it might all head down the gurgler.  Im trying to ge my house super organised before then so that every single item has a clearly labelled place to go and get the older kids to put everything back in the right place!

#10 lozoodle

Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:06 AM

Shared family calendar with reminders. Famcal app is great.

#11 Chchgirl

Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:20 AM

Like Born a girl I was self employed for a long time, although I did work out of the home a lot as well.

I make a list plus reminders on my phone.

If I don't do anything it doesn't get done  because there's only me.

I'm a super annoying organised person though.

#12 BeAwesome

Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:22 AM

I have a visual schedule on the fridge, so the kids can (generally) deal with what uniform they should be wearing, if they need to bring instrument/bathers/homework/library books, etc), so it's not reliant on me having to remember.

I have a 'Masterplan' diary, with everyones regular schedule, special events, school dress up days, birthdays, etc, and also track due dates of bills in there.  

I've also recently started a Google calendar if I''m out and about with just my phone, and can make plans without my paper diary on hand.

I work 3 - 4 days a week, DH full time, for months of the year kids have competitions/performances relating to activities on weekends, and they have multiple extra curricular activities, so we're all fairly time poor.

#13 Tinkle Splashes

Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:58 AM

We use google calendar for things we need to attend, and a list app with various to do lists (house, travel, purchases etc).

#14 IamzFeralz

Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:12 AM

I find lists fantastic and use different systems, Google Calendar, Evernote and a large whiteboard in the kitchen.  Also a notebook and pen.

Google Calendar is for appointments.

Evernote is for more distant wishlists and jobs e.g next visit to Bunnings, IKEA, birthdays and school holidays jobs.

The whiteboard is for meals, jobs to be done on the day and grocery shopping list under construction.

The notebook and pen is for solving parenting, health and emotional problems.  When I read a self help book I use it for jotting down notes.

Even the kids write their reminders on the whiteboard.

#15 lizzzard

Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:27 AM

I'm not organised at all...I'm amazed somehow most things happen anyway. I think we work on a just-in-time model. I like this approach because quite often the task becomes redundant, or someone else does it, or it changes....so it's more efficient to wait and make sure it really needs doing (that's my line anyway, and I'm sticking to it :p)

#16 nom_de_plume

Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:52 AM

DP is useless with this sort of stuff so I carry the mental load. Mostly I remember to do it, although sometimes it slips my mind for a few days. If there’s anything time critical, I ask DP to do it, and then nag him until it’s done. It’s not ideal but it works.

We have a family calendar on the wall and I write each week up on a whiteboard on the fridge so we can keep track of who is meant to be where, when.

#17 kadoodle

Posted 12 October 2019 - 11:02 AM

A time turner.

Seriously though; I have an old school paper calendar on the kitchen wall, and a cork board. If it’s not there, it doesn’t exist, and big kids and DH forget this at their peril.

#18 BornToLove

Posted 12 October 2019 - 11:09 AM

Google calendar for most appointments and reminders. It’s shared with DH (and synced to his work calendar) so he always knows what’s coming up.

Other things, I keep a paper list in a notebook. Physically writing stuff down (not tapping a smart phone) means I’m more likely to remember to do things. I also delegate stuff to DH and DD, so it’s not always on me to keep the house running.

#19 RocktonResident

Posted 12 October 2019 - 11:53 AM

For me, lists. If it's a big job, break it down into smaller steps. I do up a list of what needs to get done for the week and allocate 2-3 tasks per day to get it done.

I have a seperate list on the fridge for large things I need to get done. by writing it down I feel I'm committing to it in a way I don't when it's just in my head.

I don't have a partner, but surely you could have the conversation with him and say "Hey, we need to get these things done" and then come up with who is responsible or a time frame to get it done.

If you need to make phone calls and can't do it at work - can you use your lunch break? Is emailing a repair company after hours an option so you can reply on your own time? Most places have websites and email these days.

#20 Freddie'sMum

Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:05 PM

I absolutely HAVE to have the task written down.  There is on way I can remember to do all the stuff that needs to be done.

I put reminders in my phone and lists, lists, lists.

#21 TeaLover

Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:36 PM

I have everything written down physically on a family calendar, but I also put everything in my phone with reminders. DH and I both have an app installed on our phones (one iPhone, one android) called Wunderlist which allows you to make lists, share them with others and allocate and tick things off. It’s been super helpful here

#22 notorico

Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:55 PM

I write lists that are achievable. I used to have big lists of all the things that need doing but it was too overhwelming.

So now if I think of something that needs doing I will put it on my list for the next day or start a list for the following day. I have PTSD and high levels of anxiety so find I need to break it down into something I can achieve and have the satisfaction of completing a to do list.

And what I mean by achievable is making sure there is time available for down time or if things don't go to plan. Since I have started doing it this way I feel a lot less anxious.

I didn't always use lists I used to have a very good memory and didn't have to write everything down even appointments in the future were in my head but it was too much to keep track of.

#23 Dianalynch

Posted 12 October 2019 - 01:50 PM

We don’t get very much done, just the essentials, dh is better at it than I am so he’ll book the cars in, call people to fix things. We live a pretty low maintenance life because we hate organising stuff. So I guess I’m not the right person to answer, unless it’s on how to become a minimalist so there’s not much on the list in the first place - I’m pretty good at that.

#24 AprilEthereal

Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:14 PM

DH is the most organised person I know when it comes to getting things done. He trumps me.

He has his digital systems which assist him in that process.

I have several systems. I have paper lists, mental lists and digital.

We both carry a lot of responsibility but together we are a good team.

#25 Melbs2010

Posted 12 October 2019 - 05:35 PM

It's just me in my household so there's no one to divide things between.  I tend to be accumulating a list of things in my head as I notice them.  But unless it's something that has to be done right away I'll forget about it until the next time I see it.  As an example the window sills need painting as no maintenance has been done in a decade and it shows.  Every time I see it I think "that really needs painting" but since I can't envision having any time soon to work on it I don't bother to make note of it anywhere.

Periodically I'll put together a list of all the things that need work or longer term tasks I should do.  Usually it's when I'm on a bit of an 'organising my life' streak or because I happened to be at Officeworks and bought some note pads that are calling out for some planning/lists.   Sometimes I'll list stuff when I know I will have time coming up to actually knock a few things off it.  It vaguely helps with prioritising what I most want to get done.

The week to week stuff is so routine I don't use anything besides calendar reminders in my phone. That stuff is easier because there's generally no choice about getting it done.  I'm perfectly fine with forgetting the other things until another day.

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